Wednesday, September 12 2012 21:13

Fall Fun: General Mills' Monster Cereals emerge from the crypt...

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Earlier this evening, acting on an anonymous tip, I was able to track down some old friends. Practically hidden on the bottom two shelves of an endcap deep within a local drug store, there they were: Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry - the General Mills Monster Cereals. Missing from the breakfast landscape for nearly a year, this trio of spooky delights has returned once more. Like the changing colors of the leaves and the cool autumn air, there's just some things you can always count on, and the arrival of the Monsters ranks among the best.

monsters2For the 2012 Halloween Season, it appears that the Monsters' distribution is a little sketchy. Typically, I'd have found these a few weeks earlier, possibly in a massive pallet display. Last year it was Target... the year before, Walmart. This year it would seem that the "big boxes" may have passed on the Monsters... or they just haven't gotten around to stocking the shelves yet. In fact, the only store I've seen with a fully-set Halloween department so far is Kmart. Everyone else seems way behind.

As for the General Mills Monsters, I don't think my daughters will ever fully grasp their true appeal. Unlike when I was a kid, these cereals are no longer advertised on television to really drive the demand and the sales. Who knows what the numbers are these days, but I'd imagine they sell far less of these in 2012 as opposed to the 70s or 80s - back when the marshmallows were still called called "sweeties." 

I've blogged about the Monsters several times in the past (on other long-lost sites), and even have a killer pitch for a potential big-screen adaptation of the characters (should General Mills ever be interested), but there's one thing that bugs me year after year with the Monsters - the boxes. Yes, the boxes they've been using for the past several years are pretty terrible (I may have even written about that before), with their bland, cgi-ish depictions of the characters. If General Mills really wanted to go after both new kids and the nostalgia market, they'd be wise to try going "retro" for a year and bringing back some of the old designs. They were colorful and exciting, and even with countless variations over the years (check this cool pic on Flickr), they got it "right" for a long time. Since the original designs pop-up frequently on licensed merchandise, there's no reason why they shouldn't make a return to the cereal boxes, too.

Now, if I actually fed any of these to my kids, my wife would probably kill me. Despite their "Whole Grain" claims, she views these as "junk food." The next question: Will Boo Berry still turn my poop blue? Time to find out.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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